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CEBA updates may change your eligibility

The Government of Canada is providing continued support to small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them adapt and position their businesses for recovery.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland announced that the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be available to businesses that have been operating out of a non-business banking account.

To be eligible, businesses must have been operating as a business as of March 1, 2020, must successfully open a business account at a Canadian financial institution that is participating in CEBA, and meet the other existing CEBA eligibility criteria. The deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020.

CEBA is part of the Government of Canada’s economic response plan to help Canadians and Canadian businesses deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures under this plan are helping businesses keep their doors open, keep their employees on payroll, protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and recover quickly when the time comes.

Quick facts

  • CEBA provides zero-interest loans up to $40,000 to small business and non-profit organizations that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

  • Since its launch, the government has made modifications to CEBA to help even more small businesses, including:

    • increasing the payroll eligibility range from between $50,000 and $1.0 million to between $20,000 and $1.5 million;
    • making CEBA available to owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. 
  • To qualify for CEBA, all applicants must have:

    • An active Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number with an effective date of registration on or prior to March 1, 2020;  

    and either:

    • meet the payroll eligibility criteria; or
    • demonstrate a minimum of $40,000 in eligible non-deferrable expenses, and have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • To assess their eligibility for CEBA, applicants can use the pre-screening tool on the CEBA website. To apply for CEBA, businesses should contact their financial institution and provide the appropriate information and documentation. Applicants may contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 to receive a status update on a completed application between Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST

  • As of October 22, 2020, more than 774,000 CEBA loans have been approved, representing a total of nearly $31 billion in funds. 

  • On October 9, 2020 the government announced that it is working with Export Development Canada (EDC) and financial institutions to expand the CEBA program by providing an additional interest-free CEBA loan amount of $20,000, of which up to half will be forgivable if the balance of the loan is paid by December 31, 2022.  Businesses accessing the additional $20,000 of financing will be required to attest to need. Further details will be available soon.

  • CEBA is administered by Export Development Canada (EDC), which is working closely with Canadian financial institutions to deliver the loans to qualifying businesses. 

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